Gooooooaaaaal: An Expat’s Guide to Soccer in Europe

March 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Posted in Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 12 Comments
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1. Whatever you do, don’t call it soccer. It’s fotbal.

2. Mostly men will be in attendance. The line for the ladies’ room will still be twice as long. (Some things are universal.)

3. Cheer when everyone else does. Conversely, shake your first in the air and shout obscenities when everyone else does.

4. Even though it looks like the players are running pell-mell across the field, the game is one of detailed strategy. When I figure out exactly what that strategy is — aside from maximizing the number of times the ball bounces off any player’s head — I’ll let you know.

5. Don’t expect beer. Or hot dogs. Paprika-flavored potato chips? Of course.

6. The game will go on, rain, shine, snow, wind, fog, sleet, or apocalypse. Dress accordingly.

7. The number of times the paramedics rush onto the field with the stretcher is not indicative of how many injuries there are. Rather, it reflects the acting ability of the players.

8. Red cards are bad. Yellow cards are an opportunity to direct certain hand gestures at the referees.

9. Don’t, I repeat, don’t ask which guy is David Beckham.

10. Let yourself be awed. It’s a pretty amazing spectacle.

Have you ever been to a soccer, I mean football, match? Ever had paprika-flavored chips? And why is the line for the ladies’ room always so much longer?




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  1. Well, it DOES take a lot longer to remove and/or hitch up one’s clothes to use the loo if you’re a lady, especially if said lady is wearing multiple layers to survive the weather…

    Plus, it’s just Murphy’s law, right?

  2. What a great post. Not only was the story interesting but the pictures were too – both beautiful and intriguing.

  3. Sounds like a pretty incredible experience!

  4. Fun! 🙂 Good shots and I enjoyed reading it too! 🙂

  5. Love reading your tips! And the photos – absolutely perfect!

  6. ohmygosh… one time (and one time only) i witnessed NO line for the ladies room and a freakishly long line for the men’s room. i still curse myself for not taking a picture.

    and i have to say, i think i would enjoy paprika chips…. and probably a soccer/football match, too, actually.

  7. Great shots! I think there’s something magical about attending sporting events in person. They’re always WAY better than on TV. 🙂

    I’m not sure what the European obsession is with paprika potato chips, but they are EVERYWHERE in Germany too. They taste ok, but I still love Salt & Vinegar with sandwiches or just some plain Ruffles for dipping 🙂

  8. In England, I had curry flavored pringles, but never paprika flavored. But that is not so strange as seeing my mld mannered aunt and uncle transformed by brazilian football! Living abroad does strange thngs…

  9. Nice black and white pictures. I really like the shot of the field taken from behind the two men, their silhouettes and the bright lights makes for a really great picture.

  10. Sounds like so much fun. We went to a hockey game recently. I hadn’t been to one probably since college, and I had completely forgotten it is my favorite sport to watch. Television absolutely does it NO justice. I’m sure futbol is the same.

  11. Good to know!! How fun. 🙂

  12. Love the black and white pics. Never had paprika flavored chips, but my mom loves to put lemon and Indian chili powder on potato chips.

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